Some ZANU PF Youth League members on Monday threw business tycoon Kuda Tagwirei under the bus ahead of European Union sanctions review in the second week of February.
The EU Council of Ministers meets later this month for the annual review of sanctions the bloc imposed on Zimbabwe nearly two decades ago.
At the same time, the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee has called for more names to be added to the sanctions list to deter human rights abuses.
“While the United States has been the top provider of humanitarian and development aid to meet the needs of Zimbabwe’s people, the government of Zimbabwe has implemented a misinformation campaign blaming the country’s woes on targeted sanctions programs implemented by the United States,” Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Chris Coons (D-Delaware), a member of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, said in a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“It is important that the United States communicate to the people of Zimbabwe that our sanctions programmes are aimed at deterring human rights abuses, public corruption, the undermining of democratic processes or institutions, and political repression in Zimbabwe. They are not aimed at the Zimbabwean people,” the two added.
On Monday afternoon, Zanu PF Youth League political commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu told reporters at a press conference at The Media Centre away from the party’s HQ, that Tagwirei’s operation was the reason why the gap between the rich and the poor was widening.
“We are asking leadership to choose to stand with Kuda and continue eating (looting) or to come on the side of the people,” Tsenengamu told reporters.
Tsenengamu addressed the press flanked by party deputy secretary for youth affairs Lewis Matutu.
“…what makes him hold a monopoly over the supply of fuel, command agriculture, money in the streets. How does an individual withdraw money amounting to $500, 000 cash, to do what? At one time his accounts where frozen. As far as we are concerned the majority of Zimbabwe’s problems are because of Kuda Tagwirei,” Matutu added.
Independent observers told this publication that the youth leaders’ fight against Tagwirei is meant to send a clear message to the EU and US during their sanctions review.
“It is a clear message that the youths want him (Tagwirei) to be sanctioned by the EU and US,” the analyst said.
“The timing of their press conference coincides with the review season and this is happening when the American ambassador at one time accused Tagwirei of beng corrupt.”
Meanwhile, the ruling Zanu-PF’s youth league has disowned a press conference held by its deputy secretary Lewis Matutu and political commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu on Monday.
In the away from home press conference the two youth leaders took turns to blast Zanu-PF benefactor Kudakwashe Tagwirei and businessman Billy Rautenbach as behind the corrupt cartels controlling the country’s fuel, currency, commodities and government contracts.
Tsenengamu and Matutu were, however, careful to exonerate President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputies Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi from the corruption they said has made life difficult for ordinary people.
Minutes after the press conference, the party’s youth league on its official Twitter handle threw Matutu and Tsenengamu under the bus, saying what they had done was not the Zanu-PF way of handling matters.
“We will not comment on Presser by Cde Matutu and Cde Tsenengamu,” said the party’s youth league.
Zim Morning Post/Zimbabwe Voice